30 August, 2006

Dealing with terror the right way

I would like to think that the San Francisco Police Department has a new and salutary practice for dealing with terrorists: arrest them and treat them as common criminals. Yesterday, an Afghani man, Omeed Aziz Popal, ran down at least 14 people on the streets of San Francisco, most of them in largely African-American and Jewish neighborhoods. Two of the victims were outside the Jewish Community Center. Neither the cops nor the media brought up his ethnicity or that of the victims' neighborhoods, though today's SF Chronicle update does describe the ethnicity of the victims. The only mention of terrorism was apparently on local TV Channel 2, which said the driver claimed to be a terrorist. The police denied his assertion.

This is brilliant. Deny the guy the attention he might have been seeking. And refuse to be terrorized. Hooray SFPD.

The sad part is that this probably isn't a new modus operandi. If Popal had used a gun or a poison instead of a car, the news worldwide would have covered this carnage and there's no doubt that the word "terrorism" would have been thrown around. The reason it wasn't, in this case, was most likely because people are so inured to car violence.


this article  uses the word "terrorized" w/o political tone, tying it to "berserk."

i wonder how many emotions belong to political parties. "fear" is nearly a registered trademark of the republican party. kind of funny when you think of their mascot, and compare their ongoing fearmongering with the idiomatic meaning of elephants being afraid of mice. "it's not that i'm afraid of mice," says the elephant, on sunday political show. "i'm afraid of PLAGUE! and so should we all be. " dum dum DUM.... 

Posted by hibiscus

Thank God he wasn't driving a taxi, in the words  of Senator Burns of Montana. 

Posted by judevac

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